Alex Ganescu said he started law school with no idea of what the practice of law was like. Ganescu, who has a computer science degree, said he had no legal experience, no family practiced law, and no real interest in jurisprudence.
He said taking part in the Rutgers Law School clinical program changed all that.
Ganescu joined the Intellectual Property Law Clinic and worked with clients, helping them with licensing, provisional applications for patents and non-disclosure agreements. He also gave clients general advice on the likelihood of attaining patents for their inventions and the validity of their trademarks.
“The clinical program has made me want to learn more about Intellectual Property and the different businesses surrounding it in more detail, so I can still be ‘specialized’ but have a range of interests,” he said. “I would say the experience of working outside of a classroom helps prepare (and arguably, is the only way to prepare) a student for practice. I don't know how other schools run their clinical programs, but the Rutgers law clinical program has given me a focus and identity in how I want to approach practice.”
It also helped Ganescu prepare for his job after graduation this May. Ganescu will join Fish & Richardson P.C., where he’ll be a member of the law firm’s Silicon Valley patent group, working on transactions related to patents and patent prosecution.
“The subject matter in Intellectual Property, in my opinion, is one of the most varied of any legal field. The variety is what I need to stay engaged, and I've always been interested in being at the intersection of different fields, as opposed to specializing in just one thing,” he said.
He credited Professor John Kettle, who directs the clinic, and Professor Sabrina Safrin, as faculty members who helped guide him in law school, “My approach to law school has been to find a field of interest that I could spend time in developing and that I enjoyed, and conversations with Professor Safrin on contemporary patent issues helped me transition from a general law student to a student with a particular field of interest.”
He said Professor Kettle, “Gave me the opportunity to work independently and take on additional responsibility in helping new clinical students and managing relationships between the different clinics. It was very beneficial to have a chance to work in a clinic setting as opposed to receiving and completing work on an assignment-to-assignment basis. Working in his clinic allowed me to learn about the practice with the flexibility to make my own course of action towards different matters with helpful feedback from Professor Kettle and my colleagues.”
Ganescu also participated in the Rutgers Law Review as its publication editor.
He is originally from Edison and went to Rutgers University in New Brunswick for his undergraduate degree. He had this advice for other law students, “Focus on your skill set and find a subject area that interests you. That area, whatever it may be, inevitably intersects with the law,” he said. “A lawyer isn't just someone who appears in court and litigates, and the relationship between business, law, and technology is one that makes a lawyer a much more complex character than I imagined when I first entered law school.”